Cape Girardeau County – Payroll Changes

There are so few people on the e-mail list for the Cape County Commission’s minutes, it is a good time to remind you to contact Vicki Ivy at the County Administration building (veivy@capecounty.us) to be added to the twice weekly e-mail.  You’ll receive the County Commission’s minutes as well as the agenda.  Sadly, it only appears that about 22 of 77,000 Cape County citizens are receiving the agenda and minutes.

This week’s e-mail included a list of payroll changes effective at the beginning of the year.  So, we thought it apropos to post that list here to inform your discretion.

Cape County Commission – Minutes – 20150122

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We hope you will consider adding your name to the list of those working to keep your government in check.  This is what the Founders expected… …and the lack thereof is the reason our republican freedoms are waning.

Prayer For Jackson Schools And New Leadership

A letter from a retired Jackson schoolteacher:

Choosing my words carefully, I feel compelled to pray for the Jackson School District and especially the board members who will be selecting new leadership for the district in the next few weeks. I am praying that this will not be treated lightly and there will not be an ‘inside selection’ where others need not apply. I am asking the board members to truly review each candidate and their connection to the district. I will always love the district.

I spent 25 of the happiest years of my life there. I was hired in the Fall of 1984. My selection was a fluke, it was late in the summer (I was hired 8 days before school started.) I had no family or inside pull. I was quite enamored of the whole district, students, etc. I never got over that feeling.

I served first under Dr. Frank Wiley who told me that he was hesitant to hire me because Government was the THE MOST HATED CLASS in the district! Mr.Nelson later told me that I was hired because I was mature at age 31 and cheap on the pay scale. Essentially I got the job because I was ‘old and cheap’. The second Superintendent I served under was Wayne Maupin. Mr. Maupin was a diligent protector of the district’s money, it’s teachers and students. I recall two times that he sought me out, once to apologize for not calling off school early enough when he heard that I had gone into a ditch on the way to school. The second time, he came to my classroom after the suicide of a student because he was concerned about how I was coping. I will never forget his compassion and desire to connect to the students and the teachers. Dr. Jones was the next leader of the Jackson district. He was not there very long, but he made a tremendous difference for me. On the opening day of school, in his speech he said: “I did a mock interview for a college student, and asked him who he would like to emulate as a teacher. The student’s reply was: “The greatest teacher of all times was Jesus Christ. I would like to be like Mr. Seabaugh, because Science is my chosen field, but I would really like to be like Mrs. Dooley, because she makes you just love learning.” I lived off of those words for the rest of my career. I had to. There were no more words of praise. Ever.

It seems, IN MY OPINION, that many teachers and leaders in the district who had a true heart for the district, a love for its students and a true concern for how things were being managed were quickly dismissed and urged to move on. Opinions were not welcome and anyone who had one was dismissed as “Negative”.  Anyone with experience, who had invested, blood, sweat and tears for the district were pushed aside for people who had less than three years experience in education.

It became very clear that you supported the administrative agenda or you were very quickly persona non grata. I never claimed to be the most intelligent or the best teacher of the district, but I did invest heavily in time, prayers and tears for my students. The Bible says: Study to show thyself approved, a workman who needs not to be ashamed. I know that I did do that. I was told that teachers were to be facilitators and to allow the students to learn on their own. I was a dinosaur that could not accept that. I made the decision to retire after prayerful consideration in 2009.

It was clear that I was attending a party that I was not invited to. I was docked in pay for giving the eulogy at a student’s funeral. I was docked in pay for being the only teacher who attended the funeral of Bob Davis who died in Afghanistan. No administrators attended. Why did we not line the street with flags when his funeral procession passed our school? I will never understand that one.

Jackon High School

I confessed to one student that I never understood why God put me at Jackson to begin with and he replied, “He put you there for me. On several occasions, I was planning to commit suicide, but would decide to attend your class one last time. On each of those days, you would say something that would convince me to go on another day.”

Even though I received several awards and was asked to give the graduation speech five times, I was never considered to be a good teacher by administrators. On the last day, one described the other retiring teachers with tremendous praise and then said, “Mrs. Dooley is retiring, too.” My heart was truly ripped out.

I know in my heart that I served a purpose, if only for comic relief. I know that those students who I visited when they were sick and even dying, those who were going through great turmoil, and those who just loved learning remember being in my class. I fear that teachers, like me are endangered. The test score is the only measure of true learning. On my last evaluation, I was told that the the students didn’t like me because I was a good teacher, they liked me because I was a ‘mom’ to them, and that they did not need me to be a ‘mom”. And that is how I ended twenty-five years of my life.

So, today, I am pleading with the Jackson School Board to consider what kind of person they will put in charge. It takes more than just a businessman, the current pick of a questionable leader. It takes a person who has a true servant’s heart, a love for students and a love for learning! We need a leader who inspires students and teachers to do their very best. The attitude, in my opinion, for too long has been, “if you don’t like the way things are, we have fifty more who will take your job.” and “Teachers are a dime a dozen”.

Good ones aren’t.

My greatest success at the school was on the day that I sat in a student’s desk at 4:30 in the afternoon praying for him, asking God to send someone into his life that he might really hear to solve a very serious problem in his life. As I was praying, he walked through my door! We talked, cried and prayed for two hours. I felt God’s presence in that classroom that day.

If for no other reason, I will always be proud to say that God gave me the opportunity to serve at Jackson High School for twenty-five years, where He nurtured and protected me. He gave mentors like Hal Goddard and Karen Kight (a modern day version of Peter and Paul). He allowed me to learn from the very best. Teachers, like me, were problematic.

That is why today, I am begging the members of the Jackson Board to look beyond who is just in line for the job and seek out the applications of those who have a true heart for students, not only their test score, but the people that they are destined to become. Maybe some of them, were, like me and others who have left the district, problematic.

November 2014 Ballots

Below are the November 2014 (sample) Ballots for Cape Girardeau County:

Click Here –> Sample Ballots – 20141104

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The Purpose Of Government

By Janet Boston

The purpose of government is to keep order, protect private property and provide access to services across the whole of a county or city like education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management and trading standards.

Government representatives propose many wonderful options for “new stuff” to their constituents in the form of increased taxes.   Of course, who would not want a child to be educated, not have lunch, not to have a Water Park for tourism, not have an Osage Community Centre for events, not have a new Federal Building, courthouse, police / fire station, school, golf course, doggie park, bike trail, public transportation, Phase I & Phase II (911) to track phone locations of citizens, cameras on stoplights or a garden at the entrance to Cape Girardeau exit, etc?

These may be noble causes / projects and no one wants their town to be unattractive or underserved.  Most of the items listed above involve the expense of building, employees, utilities, insurance, maintenance, payroll, health insurance, possible retirements — all expensed to the taxpayer.

Cape Girardeau and Jackson’s populations have increased which increases tax revenues on many levels annually.  Tax revenues generated by retail sales, restaurant receipts, personal property, home purchases / sales, income tax, utilities, gasoline, food, cell phone, water, and sewer have continued to grow to support Cape Girardeau county’s cities.

Thomas Jefferson  stated, “Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.”

The contra side to the issue is, what is the necessary functions the taxpayer to support?  Should we build a golf course, doggie park, a Federal Building, new school?  Should we create more government programs, Common Core, Kids First, Head Start, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NSA, Homeland Security?  Or should we pave our roads, be prepared with salt for our roads for citizens during inclement weather, update the fire house or build a new police station/jail to protect our communities and create a business environments for more jobs?

Is it really necessary to create a CID board to decide what the restaurant tax revenues should be appropriated? Or should these funds be appropriated to fund a new / refurbished fire house or new police station / jail?  Today, Cape Girardeau taxes provide police, trash hauling etc. for the downtown area.  Why are additional funds required for the same services?

The Casino brings in $2 Million dollars a year.  Cape Girardeau has one of the highest sales taxes in Missouri.  Shouldn’t these dollars be appropriated to fund some of the impending projects instead of raising taxes?  Could we pre-plan projects with existing tax surpluses / projected taxes in the next fiscal year?  Could some of the services now being provided by the City / County be provided by a contract employer reducing costs of benefits and retirements payable by taxpayer dollars?  Instead of being satisfied the citizens supported and paid for a project the Cape administration proposed to expend their tax dollars, the administration gets frantic when the tax is set to sunset.

Thomas Jefferson stated,  “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt …  I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple.”

Normally when projects have been proposed for a tax increase, the entire project expense is presented for the taxpayer to approve by their vote.  The dedicated tax revenue, when voter approved, is attached to purchases or levied against the taxpayers’ property.  The City and County may receive funding from other state or federal sources and/or grants in addition to the taxes to support some of these projects.  These additional dollars, if sourced, could lighten the local taxpayers’ project tax burden.  The surplus dollars could be used in the next fiscal year in lieu of government pursuing another tax increase.

If I were to conduct a family poll at home and ask who wants to eat out, who wants a new cell phone, who wants more video games, should we get HBO channels, do you want a new car?  Everyone would raise their hands.  Then if I asked them are you willing not to have air conditioning this summer or heat in this winter, take fewer showers, cut the clothing/shoe budget in order to pay for these wants, the attitude is much different and choices of wants verses needs brings reality to the table.  To live within your budget necessitates making the difficult choices and the prioritization of dollars.

This is what we are asking our leaders.  Make the tough and wise choices.  We want Cape Girardeau Missouri debt free.  We want local government to create an environment for businesses to provide good paying jobs.  We want government to work toward bringing people on subsidies to zero. We want equitable agreements between local government and businesses who receive reduced taxation benefits to have the stipulation that the tax benefit be repaid to the city / county if they leave before 15 years. This employment effort will provide the revenue needed to fund the necessities and amenities for Cape Girardeau, Missouri through many sources of tax revenues received from citizens work, investments and purchases.

To Alter Or To Abolish,Chapter 34

Legal Plunder

Written by Darrell Anderson.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It only can exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

Often attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler

President Gerald Ford stated “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

Are You Sure?

Are you SURE that you want E911 to know the location of your cell phone?

By Janet Boston

According to the ACLU citizens should not allow their cell phones to be tracked by location.

In checking different locations in the U.S., Cape Girardeau, MO is not the only place in the US that does not have this phone location capability.

I think with cameras on stop lights, the Patriot Act, the NSA spying through telephones, appliances, and computers on US citizens, and the many over reaching Constitutional transgressions of our President/Congress/Homeland Security government agencies on citizens’ rights that no citizen should pay to give the opportunity to our local police (possibly Homeland Security) to have our private whereabouts at their finger tips.  This program is being sold as an emergency protection/security program and it is not. So let’s be honest.

Congress is considering the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act, a bill supported by the National ACLU requiring police to get a warrant to obtain personal location information. The bill protects both historical and real-time location data, and requires customers’ consent for telecommunications companies to collect location data.

I am not on board on this program.  In fact, I believe every Senator and Representative should be doing away with the Patriot ACT and reigning in the NSA and Homeland Security. We need to get back to supporting our Founding Documents and quit convincing people to consider relinquishing their freedoms by selling them some Security/Safety baloney.

I do not approve one cent to be charged to my cell phone bill for this nonsense.  I will make sure I know where I am If I need 911.  The police nor the government does not need this information unless they get a warrant.

h/t SpyMuseum.org

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser – Saturday 10/19

PANCAKE BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER

On Saturday October 19th, 2013 from 8:00am – 10:00am, you are invited to join the Cape County Tea Party for a Pancake Breakfast at Beef O’Brady’s Restaurant.  Tickets are $6.00 and may be purchased at the door or from a Tea Party member.

For those who like to ‘Shop Triumphantly’, there will be a Silent Auction of some Halloween and general items.

A portion of the proceeds will go to “Love INC” and “Options for Women” organizations.

Please come out and support these three great organizations!

Beef O’Brady’s
1812 N Kingshighway, Suite 101,
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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Contact
– Web Site: www.CapeCountyTeaParty.org
– E-mail: CapeCountyTeaParty@yahoo.com

The Individual as Property

By Timothy Birdnow

In 2011 a woman named Sharrie Gavan beat a man with a baseball bat. Now, this is not all that unusual, as domestic disputes, home invasions, and overheated arguments sometimes end with an act of assault, but this particular case is different. In this instance the woman took a baseball bat to the drug pusher who was gleefully destroying her 20-year-old son with heroin. Mrs. Gavan was recently convicted of the assault and faces up to a year in prison.

This story seems destined to die a dull death, although there are locals in the St. Louis area who have cheered the actions of this woman. But when looked at in a larger context this story speaks volumes about the fundamental changes that have occurred in our culture and in our thinking.

What is the nature of the relationship between the citizen and the State? America was founded on principles found in the Bible and in the writings of 17th century philosophers such as John Locke.

John Locke pointed out in his First Treatise on Government:

Though the Earth… be common to all Men, yet every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself.

So, all men have first and foremost the right to own themselves.

This is of critical importance because it is this most fundamental principle that the modern Left and Right part company over. Liberals do not believe this basic assertion, preferring to believe that we as a collective own each other. This distinction is absolutely critical, because it informs our beliefs in terms of actions.

The English Philosophers Hobbes and Hume argued that property was a creation of the State, and were not held in high regard by the Founders of the United States. If property is a creation of the State, then one can argue that the State has sovereignty over the individual.

And of course later philosophers came to dismiss the view of self-ownership as illusory. Rousseau believed individuals enter voluntarily into a social contract which creates a “sovereign”, a sort of group entity, a collective. Rousseau was extraordinarily influential on later leftist thinking, as was Karl Marx who disdained the concept of personal sovereignty, as did Benito Mussolini. As in communism and fascism, the entire undercurrent of modern liberalism is anti-individualism. Even the Anarchists, though they may seem to be radical individualists, ultimately seek the collectivization of property as a means to grant themselves the individualism they seem to believe in — making them as statist as any other leftist branch. Without property rights one cannot have individual rights.

It is no surprise that the general degradation of property rights should coincide with the rise of statism and the devaluing of the individual. Either we own property — including ourselves – or we do not.

From such a belief system comes abortion; the right to life is subject to the granting of permission by the collective.

Gun control is another example; the Left hates guns because they empower the individual over the collective. A man with a gun does not need the protection of the State but can deal with violations of his rights by himself. The man with a gun can, if need be, do without the collective. This chafes at liberal sensibilities, as they are absolute in their determination to make us all not just our brother’s keeper but his master. There can be no right to self-defense in a world where one does not own even himself. The State is master and it is a usurpation, an act of rebellion, to defend yourself. It is even more an act of treason to defend yourself against the State. This is why there is such anger in the Progressive community against “bitter clingers” holding onto their guns; what right does any individual have to take the power of the State?

It affects religion, too. The Judeo-Christian religions believe in the duty of the individual to govern himself first and foremost. The Progressive thinking is that nobody has a right to govern himself, so Christianity and Judaism are rebels, antithetical to the cause of community and the idea that “it takes a village”. Islam, on the other hand, is both a handy tool to use against them and is a system where there is no division between the State and the Faith, and the individual must submit to the larger collective.

Almost any position held by the Progressive Left can be understood if one thinks about it in terms of property rights.

The liberal view has largely emerged triumphant in our modern era. The case of Mrs. Gavan is illustrative of that.

Not sixty years ago Mrs. Gavan would not have been arrested, nor tried, nor convicted. She had gone to the police like any good citizen and was told there was nothing that could be done, so, in desperation, she took very modest steps to protect her family. Please note the pusher was not seriously harmed — merely warned away with a couple of bruises. The Founders would have shrugged at that.

But not the modern python state; laws have become nooses around the necks of the citizenry while leaving the predators (who follow no law but their own) free rein. Society will not allow a person to defend himself. Now if a crime victim shoots an attacker he is the person in trouble (ask George Zimmerman). Now any action outside of official channels is punished because it is considered an act of rebellion. It is the reason why the Obama administration keeps pushing this “right-wing domestic terrorist” shibboleth; they are frightened of anybody outside of their control, outside of the Borg Collective.

And so a decent woman protecting her family may go to prison for the sake of upholding the right of the State over the individual. This is not just an elitist-Progressive thing, either; ordinary citizens and minor officials in Jefferson County, Missouri pursued, charged, tried, and convicted this woman. This mindset is now a part of the American psyche.

And it won’t change, not without enormous social, educational, and informational changes in this country. We have to remember who we once were, and that means the schools need to teach, the arts need to remember, movies and television need to change, an entire culture has to be revamped. The prognosis for a restoration is grim.

But not impossible. As long as there is a spark of liberty in the individual there remains hope. We have to teach our children. We have to remember who we once were.

Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis-based writer. Read more from Tim and friends at www.tbirdnow.mee.nu

Page Printed from:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/05/the_individual_as_property.html

CCSSO Releases C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

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Earlier this month the Council of Chief State School Officers released the draft of the “College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.  I just got my hands on a copy yesterday and skimmed through it.

It focuses on civics, economics, geography and history.  States involved in the project are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

It is unclear what state involvement in the creation of Social Studies standards means for future implementation.  I’m not certain whether these states signed an Memorandum of Understanding similar to what they did with the Common Core State Standards.  You can see that some of the same players are involved as associate members, such as, Pearson.  It is heavily tied into the Common Core ELA standards which was expected.

Having skimmed through this my primary concern is the encouragement of civic and political activism.  While on its face that isn’t a bad thing, but I have to wonder what is encouraged.  I saw where potential indoctrination could occur within the Civics section.  I have little hope from what I’ve seen from progressive elements within public education that this won’t be the case.  The task force of professional organizations related to this gives me little hope for ideological diversity and I  while I don’t know for certain looking at the writing team (pg. 8) I am doubtful it exists there as well.

I noticed that on pg. 29 it is mentioned we live in a constitutional democracy when in fact we live in a constitutional republic.  It is troubling that those writing this document couldn’t get something as basic as that right.

Pg. 18 points out their definition of an “active and responsible citizen” which appears to be what they hope the “product” of these standards will be:

Active and responsible citizens identify and analyze public problems; deliberate with other people about how to define and address issues; take constructive, collaborative action; reflect on their actions; create and sustain groups; and influence institutions both large and small. They vote, serve on juries, follow the news and current events, and participate in voluntary groups and efforts. Teaching students to act in these ways—as citizens—significantly enhances preparation for college and career. Many of the same skills that are needed for active and responsible citizenship—working effectively with other people, deliberating and reasoning quantitatively about issues, following the news, and forming and sustaining groups—are also crucial to success in the 21st century workplace and in college. Individual mastery of content often no longer suffices; students should also develop the capacity to work together to apply knowledge to real problems. Thus, a rich social studies education is an education for college, career, and civic life.

Discussion of “Applying Civic Virtues and Democratic Principles” (pgs. 31-32) also raise a red flag for me.  They define Democratic principles in their glossary on pg. 70 as “the fundamental ideas and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and other early influential documents.”

That’s fine, but then one of the goals is “describe democratic principles such as equality and fairness.”  Also what do they consider a “human right” that isn’t a “constitutional right”?

Anyway, my intent here is not to provide an in-depth review, but share a couple of thoughts after skimming through this document.  I’m sure many questions will be asked and the final product will look different.  Please take the time to read through the framework below and share your thoughts.

The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Is the Common Core in Trouble?

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That is a question asked by Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog.  She writes:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently met with Chamber of Commerce leaders and urged them to be more vocal and forceful in defending the Common Core State Standards. Why?

Duncan made the appeal, which was reported by Education Week, because the initiative — a set of common standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia designed to raise student achievement — has come under such withering attack in recent months that what once seemed like a major policy success for the Obama administration now looks troubled.

A handful of states (including Indiana, Alabama, South Dakota and Georgia) are either pulling back or considering it, and core supporters fear more states will too.  A growing number of educators are complaining that states have done a poor job implementing the standards and are pushing core-aligned tests on students too early. And parents have started a campaign to “opt” their children out of the Common Core-aligned high-stakes standardized tests.

She then mentions the RNC resolution  which helped resurrect an Alabama bill,  See also mentioned Senator Grassley’s move to defund the Common Core and that it has bipartisan opposition.

Just today the Michigan House just voted to defund the Common Core.  The Indiana Senate passed a measure to slow down the implementation (twice actually!).  The Indiana House and Governor Mike Pence are under pressure to act.

All of this must have lead the Indiana Chamber of Commerce to act with this smear campaign for a blog post.

Two moms from Indianapolis, a handful of their friends and a couple dozen small but vocal Tea Party groups. That’s the entire Indiana movement that is advocating for a halt to the Common Core State Standards. No educational backgrounds. No track record of supporting education reforms or any other past education issues. And worst of all: A demonstrated willingness to say just about anything, no matter how unsubstantiated or blatantly false, to advocate their cause.

Meanwhile, the policy that they are attacking was implemented by former Gov. Mitch Daniels, then State Superintendent Tony Bennett, the Indiana Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education. To date, 45 other states have also adopted it. Common Core has been supported by superintendents, school boards, Indiana’s Catholic and other private schools, principals, teachers unions, the Indiana PTA, various education reform groups, higher education and more. The business community is actively engaged, including strong support from the Indiana Chamber, Eli Lilly, Cummins, Dow AgroSciences, IU Health and many others.

Can you say elitist snob?  Perhaps many educators are not speaking out because they are encouraged told not to.  They also fail to mention the person who unseated Tony Bennett – Glenda Ritz – has stated opposition to the Common Core.

Also I’d love to know exactly what they claim to be blatantly false?  See we are pretty good at referencing our claims about the Common Core.  Those who advocate for it, not so much.

Also while we are on the subject of truth then the Indiana Chamber of Commerce should tell the truth about who is funding the Common Core and the reviews of it – the Gates Foundation.

Sad.  The Common Core is in trouble and Arne Duncan, and it would seem the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, are getting desperate.

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Why Common Core Will Fail: Hippos and Tomatoes.

No matter how big the tomatoes get, they are not what the communities need.

And this is why Common Core will fail.

Watch Ernesto Sirolli in this TED talk on Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!  and see if you agree that the education reformers are akin to the aid workers planting tomatoes where they shouldn’t be planted.  This type of approach didn’t help Sirolli in helping impoverished African communities.  Why would the same methodology be successful in solving the “crisis in education” we’ve been led to believe we have in the US?

Everything I do, and everything I do professionally — my life — has been shaped by seven years of work as a young man in Africa. From 1971 to 1977 — I look young, but I’m not — (Laughter) — I worked in Zambia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Somalia, in projects of technical cooperation with African countries.

I worked for an Italian NGO, and every single project that we set up in Africa failed. And I was distraught. I thought, age 21, that we Italians were good people and we were doing good work in Africa. Instead, everything we touched we killed.

Our first project, the one that has inspired my first book, “Ripples from the Zambezi,” was a project where we Italians decided to teach Zambian people how to grow food. So we arrived there with Italian seeds in southern Zambia in this absolutely magnificent valley going down to the Zambezi River, and we taught the local people how to grow Italian tomatoes and zucchini and … And of course the local people had absolutely no interest in doing that, so we paid them to come and work, and sometimes they would show up. (Laughter) And we were amazed that the local people, in such a fertile valley, would not have any agriculture. But instead of asking them how come they were not growing anything, we simply said, “Thank God we’re here.” (Laughter) “Just in the nick of time to save the Zambian people from starvation.”

And of course, everything in Africa grew beautifully. We had these magnificent tomatoes. In Italy, a tomato would grow to this size. In Zambia, to this size. And we could not believe, and we were telling the Zambians, “Look how easy agriculture is.” When the tomatoes were nice and ripe and red, overnight, some 200 hippos came out from the river and they ate everything. (Laughter)

And we said to the Zambians, “My God, the hippos!”

And the Zambians said, “Yes, that’s why we have no agriculture here.” (Laughter)

“Why didn’t you tell us?” “You never asked.”

I thought it was only us Italians blundering around Africa, but then I saw what the Americans were doing, what the English were doing, what the French were doing, and after seeing what they were doing, I became quite proud of our project in Zambia. Because, you see, at least we fed the hippos.

You should see the rubbish — (Applause) — You should see the rubbish that we have bestowed on unsuspecting African people. You want to read the book, read “Dead Aid,” by Dambisa Moyo, Zambian woman economist. The book was published in 2009. We Western donor countries have given the African continent two trillion American dollars in the last 50 years. I’m not going to tell you the damage that that money has done. Just go and read her book. Read it from an African woman, the damage that we have done.

We Western people are imperialist, colonialist missionaries, and there are only two ways we deal with people: We either patronize them, or we are paternalistic. The two words come from the Latin root “pater,” which means “father.” But they mean two different things. Paternalistic, I treat anybody from a different culture as if they were my children. “I love you so much.” Patronizing, I treat everybody from another culture as if they were my servants. That’s why the white people in Africa are called “bwana,” boss.

I was given a slap in the face reading a book, “Small is Beautiful,” written by Schumacher, who said, above all in economic development, if people do not wish to be helped, leave them alone. This should be the first principle of aid. The first principle of aid is respect. This morning, the gentleman who opened this conference lay a stick on the floor, and said, “Can we — can you imagine a city that is not neocolonial?”

I decided when I was 27 years old to only respond to people, and I invented a system called Enterprise Facilitation, where you never initiate anything, you never motivate anybody, but you become a servant of the local passion, the servant of local people who have a dream to become a better person. So what you do — you shut up. You never arrive in a community with any ideas, and you sit with the local people. We don’t work from offices. We meet at the cafe. We meet at the pub. We have zero infrastructure. And what we do, we become friends, and we find out what that person wants to do.

The most important thing is passion. You can give somebody an idea. If that person doesn’t want to do it, what are you going to do? The passion that the person has for her own growth is the most important thing. The passion that that man has for his own personal growth is the most important thing. And then we help them to go and find the knowledge, because nobody in the world can succeed alone. The person with the idea may not have the knowledge, but the knowledge is available.

So years and years ago, I had this idea: Why don’t we, for once, instead of arriving in the community to tell people what to do, why don’t, for once, listen to them? But not in community meetings.

Let me tell you a secret. There is a problem with community meetings. Entrepreneurs never come, and they never tell you, in a public meeting, what they want to do with their own money, what opportunity they have identified. So planning has this blind spot. The smartest people in your community you don’t even know, because they don’t come to your public meetings.

What we do, we work one-on-one, and to work one-on-one, you have to create a social infrastructure that doesn’t exist. You have to create a new profession. The profession is the family doctor of enterprise, the family doctor of business, who sits with you in your house, at your kitchen table, at the cafe, and helps you find the resources to transform your passion into a way to make a living.

I started this as a tryout in Esperance, in Western Australia. I was a doing a Ph.D. at the time, trying to go away from this patronizing bullshit that we arrive and tell you what to do. And so what I did in Esperance that first year was to just walk the streets, and in three days I had my first client, and I helped this first guy who was smoking fish from a garage, was a Maori guy, and I helped him to sell to the restaurant in Perth, to get organized, and then the fishermen came to me to say, “You the guy who helped Maori? Can you help us?

And I helped these five fishermen to work together and get this beautiful tuna not to the cannery in Albany for 60 cents a kilo, but we found a way to take the fish for sushi to Japan for 15 dollars a kilo, and the farmers came to talk to me, said, “Hey, you helped them. Can you help us?” In a year, I had 27 projects going on, and the government came to see me to say, “How can you do that? How can you do — ?” And I said, “I do something very, very, very difficult. I shut up, and listen to them.” (Laughter)

So — (Applause) — So the government says, “Do it again.” (Laughter) We’ve done it in 300 communities around the world. We have helped to start 40,000 businesses. There is a new generation of entrepreneurs who are dying of solitude.

Peter Drucker, one of the greatest management consultants in history, died age 96, a few years ago. Peter Drucker was a professor of philosophy before becoming involved in business, and this is what Peter Drucker says: “Planning is actually incompatible with an entrepreneurial society and economy.” Planning is the kiss of death of entrepreneurship.

So now you’re rebuilding Christchurch without knowing what the smartest people in Christchurch want to do with their own money and their own energy. You have to learn how to get these people to come and talk to you. You have to offer them confidentiality, privacy, you have to be fantastic at helping them, and then they will come, and they will come in droves. In a community of 10,000 people, we get 200 clients. Can you imagine a community of 400,000 people, the intelligence and the passion? Which presentation have you applauded the most this morning? Local, passionate people. That’s who you have applauded.

So what I’m saying is that entrepreneurship is where it’s at. We are at the end of the first industrial revolution — nonrenewable fossil fuels, manufacturing — and all of a sudden, we have systems which are not sustainable. The internal combustion engine is not sustainable. Freon way of maintaining things is not sustainable. What we have to look at is at how we feed, cure, educate, transport, communicate for seven billion people in a sustainable way. The technologies do not exist to do that. Who is going to invent the technology for the green revolution? Universities? Forget about it! Government? Forget about it! It will be entrepreneurs, and they’re doing it now.

There’s a lovely story that I read in a futurist magazine many, many years ago. There was a group of experts who were invited to discuss the future of the city of New York in 1860. And in 1860, this group of people came together, and they all speculated about what would happen to the city of New York in 100 years, and the conclusion was unanimous: The city of New York would not exist in 100 years. Why? Because they looked at the curve and said, if the population keeps growing at this rate, to move the population of New York around, they would have needed six million horses, and the manure created by six million horses would be impossible to deal with. They were already drowning in manure. (Laughter) So 1860, they are seeing this dirty technology that is going to choke the life out of New York.

So what happens? In 40 years’ time, in the year 1900, in the United States of America, there were 1,001 car manufacturing companies — 1,001. The idea of finding a different technology had absolutely taken over, and there were tiny, tiny little factories in backwaters. Dearborn, Michigan. Henry Ford.

However, there is a secret to work with entrepreneurs. First, you have to offer them confidentiality. Otherwise they don’t come and talk to you. Then you have to offer them absolute, dedicated, passionate service to them. And then you have to tell them the truth about entrepreneurship. The smallest company, the biggest company, has to be capable of doing three things beautifully: The product that you want to sell has to be fantastic, you have to have fantastic marketing, and you have to have tremendous financial management.

Guess what? We have never met a single human being in the world who can make it, sell it and look after the money. It doesn’t exist. This person has never been born. We’ve done the research, and we have looked at the 100 iconic companies of the world — Carnegie, Westinghouse, Edison, Ford, all the new companies, Google, Yahoo. There’s only one thing that all the successful companies in the world have in common, only one: None were started by one person.

Now we teach entrepreneurship to 16-year-olds in Northumberland, and we start the class by giving them the first two pages of Richard Branson’s autobiography, and the task of the 16-year-olds is to underline, in the first two pages of Richard Branson’s autobiography how many times Richard uses the word “I” and how many times he uses the word “we.” Never the word “I,” and the word “we” 32 times. He wasn’t alone when he started. Nobody started a company alone. No one.

So we can create the community where we have facilitators who come from a small business background sitting in cafes, in bars, and your dedicated buddies who will do to you, what somebody did for this gentleman who talks about this epic, somebody who will say to you, “What do you need? What can you do? Can you make it? Okay, can you sell it? Can you look after the money?” “Oh, no, I cannot do this.” “Would you like me to find you somebody?”

We activate communities. We have groups of volunteers supporting the Enterprise Facilitator to help you to find resources and people and we have discovered that the miracle of the intelligence of local people is such that you can change the culture and the economy of this community just by capturing the passion, the energy and imagination of your own people.

Thank you. (Applause)

Think about the creation/adoption/implementation of Common Core:

Did David Coleman, Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and other education reformers ask the communities what they wanted?

Are these reformers paternalistic or patronizing?

Do the reformers respect the taxpayers or have they even asked for their respect?

Are they respectful of what the communities want in schools?

Are the reformers servants of local passion, or are the taxpayers the servants of the education reformers?

Is the passion from the reformers for student personal growth or for data?

Have the education reformers ever listened to the community and its needs?

Is the structuring of education and time consuming assessments into a “one size fits all” approach the death of individualism and entrepreneurship?

Do you believe that private companies who have crafted standards that are copyrighted and cannot be altered/modified in any manner care about the passion, energy and imagination of teachers and students?

Do you believe the reformers have planted tomatoes that serve no purpose except for the reformers’ needs?

They’ve never asked the communities what they wanted and they have given us what we don’t need.

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